I have three or four draft responses to Pharyngula (PZ Myers) blog posts, but they always turn into long essays and I rarely get round to publishing. One problem is he has many signed-up readers who respond to every post, and individual comments get lost in the baying mob (just like Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science blog I find). And since my comments (as an atheist) are mainly about the baying-mob mentality, it’s hard to know how to get the point into the stream. So here a very short post with one point, track-backed to PZ’z blog.
In this Facebook extract example, the innocent / ignorant status poster and commenters are indeed misguided on attributing the +/-10ft design to God, but the one scientific response totally misses the point and proceeds (very smugly I might add) to split hairs with one quantifiable “design” detail, and get soundly booed off stage by the believers with no argument either way. But PZ and his admirers simply jump on the same band-wagon – Oh look, theists only argue using the LaLaLaLaLa fingers-in-ears methods. Dumb and dumber I say. Theist or scientist, you can both be dumb. There is a very important point of interest in this facebook post that is completely swamped by those who believe themselves intellectually superior yet prefer wars to progress.
OK, so the “10ft” quote was way off the mark, but the “Goldilocks” enigma of how much of the universe seems to be fine-tuned “just right” for our-world-as-we-know-it to exist is a very interesting question. Easily attributed to god by the ignorant, but conveniently glossed-over by science in baying-mob mode.
My point ? It’s a myth that pointing out flaws in your adversaries’ arguments is a source of progress – falsification is good in the science-lab of repeatable-cases, refereed-peer-reviews & law-courts, but not in the real world. In fact it simply deepens the divide, reinforces adversaries as adversaries and excludes middles. Middles that have nothing to do with with compromise or accomodationism or apologism – I’m as atheist as any of the four horsemen – but concerned with the exclusion of sound rational knowledge.
Pull your finger out PZ – you are supposed to a responsible scientist / atheist.